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Hiking and not meeting bears in rocky mountains

Hiking and not meeting bears in rocky mountains

Old Apr 16th, 2010, 01:20 PM
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Hiking and not meeting bears in rocky mountains

I am going to rocky mountains in Canadá next July and I would like to do some smoothly hiking there ... but I do not want to meet bears !!!
Is it possible to meet a bear while walking in some popular trails like the ones in Lake Louise ?
Can someone provide me with some trails ( easy ones ) where I never will meet a bear ??

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Old Apr 16th, 2010, 01:54 PM
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yes you can meet bears on the trails around Lake Lousise -
there is a visitors center in Banff where you can check for bear sightings and where there has been activity

Also have been there when there was a sign at trailhead that trail was closed to badly behaving bears - so as long as you not way back in the back country, there are some resources to advise you where to go - or NOT
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Old Apr 17th, 2010, 06:10 AM
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If you make some noise as you walk, that gives bears a chance to get away. They mostly don't want to run into you, either.
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Old Apr 17th, 2010, 10:34 AM
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Good advice so far. Are you planning on hiking solo? If so, make alternate plans. You definitely want to be with at least one other person.
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Old Apr 17th, 2010, 05:09 PM
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At the trailhead (where there are bear problems) you will see a sign telling you to wait until a certain number of hikers have gathered before starting on the trail together. When we were there the number was 5.
By the way, those bear bells (that everyone carried a few years back to scare away bears) purportedly don't scare bears so don't bother with them.
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Old Apr 17th, 2010, 09:30 PM
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When hiking in the nmountains...

If hiking by yourself, follow another hiker in front of you, making sure this hiker is chubby and looks, at least to bears, as being flavorful.

If hiking with someone, chose a companion who is a slower runner than you are.

That will keep you safe.

If you do see a bear, stay away, turn around and leave, etc.

The worst thing that can happen is to be between a mother bear and her cubs, so if you see either mother bear or cubs, look around for the other bears, and move away from being in between.

As a general rule, if you are on the trails near the towns, you will be safe and do not have anything to worry about.

Please do not let worries about bears keep you away from the Rocky Mountains. They are a wonderful place to visit.
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Old Apr 17th, 2010, 11:46 PM
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The rangers usually put notices or bear warnings on the trails.When we were at Lake Moraine (near Lake LOUISE)there was a bear notice stating that to do the trail you should do it in a group and make noise along the way.When we were doing the Hidden lake trail in Glacier N. Park Montana there was a sudden bear warning and an armed ranger was running up the trail to warn the visitors.Paul
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Old Apr 19th, 2010, 12:59 PM
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Most bears don't want anything to do with people. If you make lots of noise then they will just avoid you. When around running water be more aware as the bears cannot hear you and you cannot hear them. Hiking with a MP3 player you cannot hear them or nature so again not a great idea. In my 25 years hiking in the mountains I have never had a close call with a bear. If you see a bear get out of there. Most bears will just be eating berries and such so don't spend a lot of time picking wild berries on a remote trail. You will have more of a chance at a spained ankle then a bear problem.
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Old Apr 19th, 2010, 02:04 PM
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No-one can guarantee that you will not meet a bear. Making noise helps. If you do meet one, move away and DON'T RUN (only bear lunches run). If you have food on you - DROP IT. As someone else pointed out - most dangerous situation mother bear and cubs. If you see a cub or cubs "alone" - get the hell out of there - you may be between them and their mother. NEVER, EVER hike with headphones. NEVER ignore bear notices.

In tame old Ontario I have sighted bears 3 times - once way too close for comfort - I tried to "look big" (I'm not) and got out of the area in a quick but controlled way.
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Old Apr 19th, 2010, 05:22 PM
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You have been given some good advice here, but the best source of information is from the people who actually manage the park. Here's what the Parks Canada website for Banff NP has to say about bears:

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Old Apr 23rd, 2010, 02:17 PM
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We have hiked in the Rockies hoping to see bears and never have. When I have seen them in other mountain ranges they've run away from me. So do what everyone is telling you to do, but realize you will probably not encounter one.
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Old Apr 26th, 2010, 09:56 AM
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Thanks all of you that provide me with usefull information. In case I have courage I will be hiking with my husband and never alone.
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Old Apr 27th, 2010, 03:27 PM
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We were hiking in North Glacier (entrance on the north east side) and the people in the lake down below the trail kept motioning up above us. We looked up and saw a young grizzly on the trail above and beyond us. No threat to us, just interesting. This park has a hotel with a whole glassed in side and you can view grizzly in perfect comfort and safety. We saw many (3 years ago, a trip in late July)
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Old Apr 27th, 2010, 03:28 PM
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Another safe way to see grizzly from a distance is if you take the first lift up in the morning at the Lake Louise ski area. We saw mother grizzly with cubs from the ski gondola (July) and then also as we ate breakfast (glassed in area overlooking the meadow that is under the ski lift).
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Old Apr 5th, 2016, 02:57 PM
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The only way you can go into bear country without any chance of meeting a bear is going in the winter. They are hibernating in their dens. If you are worried about coming across wildlife hiking might not be for you....
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Old May 14th, 2016, 12:30 PM
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I've been quite close to bears several times.

A couple of times in Glacier National Park in northern Montana close to the Canadian border.

I've also seen a bear on the highway in Jasper National Park and a mother and three cubs along Maligne Road just outside of the town of Jasper.

This is what they say about bears (though I'm not sure I believe all of it).

Bears are shy and in general don't want to have anything to do with you.

You should recognize a black bear from a grizzly as they behave differently. A grizzly is only interested in you if they have cubs. They are shy. A black bear may look upon you as a meal.

So if a bear comes toward you and is a grizzly, they say get on your stomach and cover your head with your backpack. If it's a black bear, fight back. That's what they say.

How do you tell them apart?

Black bears are usually black but could be cinnamon. Grizzlies are usually brown but I have seen a silver grizzly. Grizzlies are usually larger. So color isn't a good way.

A grizzly's claws are much larger but you may not want to ask to see them.

A grizzly has that muscle hump on its neck.

A grizzly has that dish shape between the forehead and nose while a black bear has a straight line.

Once I started to pull out bear spray as my daughter lifted her camera. The bear was between some trees about 12-15 yards from us and just looked at us but never moved. We had just passed it so we slowly walked sideways along the trail away from the bear. For as long as we saw it the bear never moved.
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